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Dispensationalism II - Lesson 4

  1. THE DISPENSATION OF HUMAN GOVERNMENT (Genesis 8:15-22) (Continued)
    1. Commission (Genesis 9:1-7)
      1. Be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth (verses 1, 7); a repetition and continuation of the original commission given to man (Genesis 1:28)
      2. Bring the animal world into subjection (verses 2-3)
        1. They shall fear you
        2. They shall be meat for you
      3. Do not eat blood (verse 4); this commandment is continued (Leviticus 17:10-14; Acts 15:19-20)
      4. Practice capital punishment on murderers (verses 5-6); this is the foundation of all righteous government (Romans 13:3-4)
    2. Special Note: Be Fruitful and Multiply (Genesis 1:28; Genesis 9:1)
      1. The curiosity: Why be fruitful AND multiply?  Are they not the same?  Is God just repeating Himself?  What is the spiritual application of the three parts of this commission: be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth?
      2. The problem
        1. Churches and church movements go through stages of history that tend to follow specific generations of preachers and Christians (compare Judges 2:7-13).
          1. First generation: the pioneers
          2. Second generation: the builders
          3. Third generation: the managers (trying to hold on to what the earlier generations built)
          4. Fourth generation: the traitors (who sell out the purposes and beliefs of earlier generations)
          5. NOTE: Every third generation needs a time of revival and renewal. We are entering the fourth generation and have not seen this renewal.
        2. Four kinds of churches today demonstrate our need
          1. Dying churches – 4,000 churches per year are shutting down in America
          2. Shadow churches – Large buildings with a handful of people
          3. Fighting churches – Preachers and congregations grabbing for their part of the remaining Christians
          4. Worldly churches – churches which will do anything to hold a crowd
        3. Churches have a life cycle just like other things in this world.  They eventually get old and die.  In order to keep the work of Christ going, we must be starting new churches.  Many churches know the importance of soul-winning and foreign missions.  We fail most in the starting of new churches.  The spiritual application of being fruitful is to win souls; of multiplying is to start new churches; of replenishing the earth is to send out missionaries.  We must be doing all three.
      3. The example of creation (Job 12:7-8)
        1. All of God’s creatures are designed to reproduce themselves (Genesis 1:11-12)
        2. Living things in this world dies and must be replaced
        3. How many 50 year old churches are doing a great work for God?  How many 100 year old churches?  Churches die—spiritually if not physically.  Churches must reproduce churches.
      4. The example of the early commissions
        1. Made up of three parts (Genesis 1:28; Genesis 9:1)
        2. Difference between fruitfulness and multiplication (1 Chronicles 4:27)
          1. Fruitfulness – bearing offspring [soul-winning]
          2. Multiplying – increasing by dividing into more groups [church-planting]
        3. The danger of refusing to multiply
          1. The command (Genesis 9:1)
          2. The conflict: their disobedience (Genesis 11:1-6)
          3. The constraint: God forces multiplication (Genesis 11:7-9)
          4. Application:  Are there churches today that want to make a name for themselves and build a tower to reach unto heaven?  Is it possible that God allows church splits to compensate for churches that will not multiply or send out young preachers to start new churches?
      5. The example of the first church in Jerusalem
        1. Their command to go (Acts 1:8)
        2. Their conflict with God in not going (Acts 1:4-5; Acts 2:33, 41, 46; Acts 4:4; Acts 5:13)
        3. The constraint to go (Acts 8:1-4)
      6. The ministry of the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 11:1)
        1. He established new churches (Acts 14:23; Acts 15:41)
        2. This is not just for foreign missionaries.  We should be doing missions at home and in our immediate area.  We should also be reaching outside our immediate are to start churches across the nation.
      7. Paul’s command to Timothy
        1. Do the work of an evangelist (2 Timothy 4:5)
        2. Philip, the only man called an evangelist in scripture (Acts 1:8), demonstrates the work of an evangelist (Acts 8)
          1. Preaching the gospel to the lost (verses 5, 40)
          2. Winning lost souls to Christ (verses 26-39)
          3. Opening new areas up to the gospel (verse 5)
        3. Application to pastors
          1. If the first two jobs of an evangelist (preaching and soul-winning) are the duty of a pastor, then the third duty (open up new areas) must also be his duty.
          2. Pastors should be opening up new areas to the gospel.  Church planting is one of the best ways to do this.  We need a new vision for our churches—one that properly balances our threefold commission:
            1. Be fruitful – win souls
            2. Multiply – plant churches
            3. Replenish the earth – send missionaries
David Reagan

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 30:29

There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going: